Differentiation is classroom practice that looks eyeball to eyeball with the reality that kids differ, and the most effective teachers do whatever it takes to hook the whole range of kids on learning.

— Carol Ann Tomlinson

The most grateful Carol Ann Tomlinson quotes that will add value to your life

In differentiated classrooms, teachers begin where students are, not the front of a curriculum guide.


Differentiation is simply a teacher attending to the learning needs of a particular student or small groups of students, rather than teaching a class as though all individuals in it were basically alike.


A teacher in a differentiated classroom does not classify herself as someone who ‘already differentiates instruction.’ Rather that teacher is fully aware that every hour of teaching, every day in the classroom can reveal one more way to make the classroom a better match for its learners.


Assessment is today's means of modifying tomorrow's instruction.


As educators we need to understand that there is no finish line in our work.


Plan to be better today, but don't ever plan to be finished


We're teaching a generation of students who've been schooled to produce quick, right answers on demand. They are not comfortable with ambiguity. The implications of that in the long term are discomforting.


Interest refers to student’s affinity, curiosity, or passion for a particular topic or skill.


The high stakes test culture runs almost totally counter to what we know about how people learn. It causes us to engage in professional malpractice on a regular basis.


Creating a classroom environment that encourages students to take the risk of learning. We've known for a long time that when students lack a sense of safety or of belonging or of contribution, learning takes second place to meeting those needs.


Readiness is a student’s entry point relative to a particular understanding or skill.


We can always gain more depth and breadth in our work [as educators].

There are always new discoveries to be made.


About Carol Ann Tomlinson

Quotes 42 sayings
Profession Author
Birthday February 17, 1944

I have little interest in a surgeon who says, "I learned that when I was in medical school. Why should I revisit it?" or who says, "I've done that operation the same way for ten years. Don't bother me with new approaches." I see teaching in the same way.


It's important to know how to lead and manage a classroom with flexibility.

Students of all ages are quite capable of learning these routines and contributing to their success once the teacher is comfortable guiding students in that direction.


Sometimes educators suffer from the "I already do that" syndrome.

In those cases, we feel inadequate if we admit we have a distance to go as learners of our craft.


We need teacher educators who are hungry to learn about and implement contemporary approaches to teaching and learning in their own classrooms and who are reflective about their work with their students.


In the field of education, educators know that they leave a lasting impact on their students for better or for worse. Trust is established or diminished in the classroom and very good educators understand that they are fallible. Despite their best efforts, they will not always do the best for each student.


We aren't quite sure what we're trying to differentiate, and therefore can't quite see how to do it other than giving some students more to cover and some less. That rarely works.


I have find that today's students are often more tolerant of human variance than students in earlier generations might have been. On the other hand, some of our students need much more interaction with a wide variety of peers so they level of understanding deepens and so they are prepared to live in a world that is only going to get smaller.


We need teacher educators who regularly spend a great deal of time in classrooms so they have a deep understanding of where they students will teach.


The best educators I have met never stop asking questions.

Some of them have taught for forty years and continue to be energized by new possibilities.


Accepting both the opportunity and the responsibility evokes a great deal of humility.


Until a teacher learns to use elements like time, space, materials, groupings, and so forth flexibly, it's incredibly difficult to teach students as they need to be taught.


[Students] are exposed to many things the majority of their teachers didn't encounter until much later in their growing up years.


We have students at the university say on a regular basis, "You're asking us to think and no one has ever done that in school."


We need to understand where are students are at any point during a unit - in other words, what each student actually knows, understands, and can do at a given time based on the content goals we've established.


Teachers craft classrooms that are good matches for their teaching styles as well as for learner needs.


A gifted teacher has an unfailing eye for magical classrooms & loses sleep over anything less than the highest quality.


[Students] often have a "We can figure this out - don't just tell us" attitude.

In that way, they can be less patient with "traditional" approaches to teaching.


On some level students are essentially the same.

They are people with fears and dreams. They laugh and cry over many of the same things. They share an essential humanity as young people always have.hey differ in some significant ways now, too, I believe. They are forced to grapple with complex issues at a much younger age.


The central job of schools is to maximize the capacity of each students.


[Students] are also accustomed to having quick access to information.

The idea of "storing" data in their heads can seem pointless. I find that they are also much more interested in learning through problem solving and group collaboration than in the past.


We need to develop a robust set of tools - strategies and routines - that help us address student variance. It's easy to come to rely on two or three "trusty" instructional strategies like worksheets and lectures. Those are of little help in planning for a variety of student needs. As we develop a better toolbox, we're empowered to meet students where they are.


In my experience, professionals who are best in any field approach their work with humility. They know that their work is more than just a job. It's an exploration of life. Even on days when they feel most confident, things can go wrong. Sometimes even the good things that happen are a mystery - a surprise. There are always elements outside our control. That's humbling - or should be.


Prospective teachers may read about the science of education, but they'll only grasp the art in their early years by seeing it practiced and having it commended to them.


Important element is deeply understanding our curriculum.

Most teachers know what they're going to cover this week or this term. Few of us can specify precisely what students should know, understand, and be able to do as a result of any particular learning experience or set of learning experiences. Without that specificity, alignment between content, assessment, and instruction is weak.


It is not so important to have all the answers as to be hungry for them.


Differentiated Instruction is a teaching philosophy based on the premise that teachers should adapt instruction to student differences. Rather than marching students through the curriculum lockstep, teachers should modify their instruction to meet students' varying readiness levels, learning preferences, and interests. Therefore, the teacher proactively plans a variety of ways to 'get it' and express learning.


As a teacher, it is your job to make explicit whatever you though was implicit


When challenge and skills are in balance the activity is its own reward


Teaching is a very habit-bound endeavor.

We're unsettled by the unfamiliar. We're creatures of habit too.